Pandemic: Rising Tide - a board game set in the Netherlands
Battle the waters and lead the Netherlands into the Industrial Age in the latest version of the board game series Pandemic!
Board games in the Pandemic series are fun, cooperative games that pit the players against the board. Usually, the players are tasked with the assignment to protect the world, or a country, from natural disasters such as lethal plagues.
Depending on the game, the challenges can get pretty tough, but even a lost game will bring lots of delight to all who are playing. The Pandemic games are generally praised for being inventive, easy to follow, yet challenging.
The board gaming enthusiast can spend many a fun evening with friends, seated around a table, battling the cruel forces of nature.
Pandemic: Rising Tide is the latest title in the special Survival Series, in which several limited-edition games are set in different locations and pose various challenges.
This time, the location is the Netherlands, in honour of the Pandemic World Championships having been held here in 2017. Earlier editions have had players combat deadly diseases that spread across the world, but this game has a new adversary: the roaring tides of the Dutch waters!
The challenge of the game
It is the dawn of the Industrial Age. For centuries, the country of the Netherlands has relied upon a series of dikes and wind-powered pumps to keep it safe from the constant threat of flooding from the North Sea. But this system is no longer enough. With land becoming more and more scarce and water levels rising by the day, a modern system is needed to stem the rising tide.
In Pandemic: Rising Tide, containing the water that threatens to consume the countryside is your greatest challenge. It is your goal to avert tragedy by constructing four modern hydraulic structures in strategic locations that will help you defend the country from being reclaimed by the ocean.
Storms are brewing, and the seas are restless. It will take all your guile to control the flow of water long enough to usher in the future of the Netherlands. It’s time to get to work.
Your skills will require classic Dutch ingenuity to make it through by creating elaborate systems of dikes, dams, and floodgates to provide flood protection and create additional land for agriculture. Beware. The failure of a single dike can send water spilling across the lowlands, destroying crops and displacing the population.
How to play
The game presents you with a cardboard map of the Netherlands, divided into regions. Water levels in a region are represented by cubes. As the water containment systems currently in place begin to fail, more water cubes are added to the board.
Water can be corralled by a strategically placed dike or slowed by pumping water out of a region. Correctly identifying and intervening in at-risk areas can get you one step closer to victory. Build dikes to keep water out of sensitive areas, ports to facilitate travel, and pumping stations to remove water from the flooded lands.
Minor incidents, such as the failure of a single dike and a flood, can lead to water quickly spreading across the country. Operated by windmills, pumping stations are invaluable resources. Each pumping station can remove one water cube from any region connected by the flooding.
To win the game, you need to successfully build four hydraulic structures. One of the most impressive of these is the Deltawerken. Completed in 1997, this elaborate system of dams, sluices, locks, dikes, levees, and storm surge barriers actually shorten the Dutch coastline to protect the country from the rising seas.
When playing a game of Pandemic, you get to choose from a number of characters with special skills to help you complete your mission. Hydraulic engineers, sanitation workers and builders have developed effective methods of controlling the water that should come in handy.
Where to buy the game
Many cities in the Netherlands have local board game shops where you can purchase a Dutch or English version of Rising Tide. You can also order the game online!